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Police fatally shoot rifle-toting man in Watts

December 25, 2010 | 10:59 am

163003.ME.1225.OIS.002.IK
Police shot and killed a man riding a bicycle and armed with a rifle at the Jordan Down Housing Projects in Watts early Christmas morning, authorities said.

LAPD officers were called to the area just before 4 a.m. after a report of an assault with a rifle. The officers were near an open field behind the housing area when they saw an occupied SUV adjacent to the field, police said.

While dealing with the people in that vehicle, they saw a man riding toward them on a bicycle. The man, police said, was holding a rifle and ignored their commands, prompting them to shoot.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. Police say an assault rifle was recovered at the scene. An investigation into the shooting has been launched, as is typical with officer-involved shootings.

The identity of the slain man has not been released.

-- Robert Faturechi

Photo: LAPD detective Craig Kaul investigates the shooting Saturday morning. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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